Now beauty care for the dog | india | Hindustan Times
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Now beauty care for the dog

Aromatherapy, oil massages, bathing and shampooing - it is no longer a dog's life for Mumbai's canines with an exclusive salon just for their care.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2005 13:07 IST

Aromatherapy, oil massages, bathing and shampooing - it is no longer a dog's life for Mumbai's canines with an exclusive salon just for their care.

Run by two women in the western Mumbai suburb of Bandra, the salon makes its purpose very clear to anyone who visits the place, with a board that says: "Human beings not allowed beyond this point."

Promoters Gauri Keskar and Urmila Dabholkar established the salon in 2000 as Disney's Pet Salon in another city suburb. It moved to Bandra two years ago and the women worked hard to create awareness about pet grooming and health.

"It was very difficult initially as people never thought on the lines of a separate salon for pets," said Gauri, 33, a mathematics graduate from the city's Ramnarain Ruia College.

"Moreover, no equipment was available in India and everything had to be imported from abroad as the concept of professional pet grooming was alien to India. It more or less is, even now," Gauri told IANS.

Gauri and Urmila met when the former was working with a veterinarian in 1998-99. Urmila was then with the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their common passion - animals - fused and they hit it off very well.

"A lot of people thought the concept was very elitist. They did not realise then that grooming was a part of good care-taking of pets," said Urmila, 27, an English literature student.

Backed by their parents, especially Urmila's, the duo managed to build up a considerable clientele list by sticking posters in veterinary clinics, personal interactions and through the Internet.

Like typical businesswomen, they turn finicky when it came to talking about their initial investments and gingerly reveal they charge anywhere between Rs.400 - for a simple bath - to Rs.1,000 for other elaborate services.

Today they handle 200 to 225 pets, including 10-15 cats a month.

"Whatever skills we have acquired till now have been learnt on the job. Initially, we just concentrated on the looks of the pets," Gauri said.